The majority of organizations have leadership development programs. However, according to Harvard Business Publishing research, only 7 percent of these organizations describe their programs as “best in class.” The statistic means that several current leadership development programs may ultimately be failing both the organizations and their leaders who participate in them. Designing an effective leadership development program begins with arming leaders with the specific tools, skills, and behaviors as they’ll need to confidently lead members and drive the performance of their organization or team. With that in mind, here are the crucial skills a comprehensive leadership development program should include.
- Coaching. It is one of the best methods leaders should regularly attend to release the full potential of their direct reports. Leaders should have excellent coaching skills as coachable moments happen daily. They should seize these moments to influence employees’ engagements and productivity positively. Leaders must be able to effectively provide feedback, motivation, and guidance in real-time.
- Accountability. The most successful leaders know that their success is not only dependent on how they perform but on the team’s performance as a whole. Today’s leaders are not accessed as individual contributors, but as part of the organizations they’re held accountable. By training leaders on accountability, they’ll become capable of making everyone in the group, including themselves, to succeed and produce the needed results.
- Change Management. An organization cannot be frozen in time as it’s not a static entity. Changes in the marketplace, company growth, employee turnover, and countless other factors contribute to ongoing changes. Whether the changes feel like a tidal or ripple wave to employees, leaders must be prepared to guide them through transitions. Shepherding employees with constant changes requires training leaders to manage change before it even transpires. Change management training is vital in any leadership development program to make sure that leaders can harness the power of vision, offer strong leadership during a particular season, and take advantage of the transitional times to improve performance.
- Influence and Negotiation. Effective leaders inspire, persuade, and encourage others to make their vision a reality. They don’t command with authority but strongly influence and fairly negotiate. Leaders understand that it’s not about who has the most power but about who has the best influence on employees to attain results. They don’t demand employees to do something because of hierarchy or authority but will instead use this subtle quality to build relationships, find a win-win, and align priorities that ultimately lead to competed projects and delivered results.
- Communication. Communication Training is standard in every leadership development program. But questions are how effective and up-to-date is it? Communication skill is not something that leaders can learn through just reading, listening to a presentation, or watching a video about it. As a leader, you are communicating at all hours of the day through emails, videoconferencing, text messages, phone calls, large presentations, and one-on-one conversations. Communication skills maybe not a new skill to leadership development. Still, it is one that requires to be optimized to be entirely useful and relevant leaders of today and beyond.
A fresh approach to training and development can close the gap between the desire of first-class leadership and the reality of failed leadership programs. Consider the needs of leaders and company-specific challenges and ask for input from current successful leaders to design a leadership development program that’s successful in the eyes of everyone involved.